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Two Lines, One Job

A work made of oil on masonite.

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  • A work made of oil on masonite.




Joseph Friebert (American, 1908–2002)

About this artwork

Joseph Friebert used muted tones and a loose, sketchy style to portray two lines of men seen from behind, leaving them faceless and anonymous. During the Great Depression, the Milwaukee artist was determined to depict the hardships and harsh conditions that workers faced, including unemployment. Here the rhythmic pairs of figures merge and blur in the distance, suggesting that their shared fate was to endure a lengthy and perhaps futile wait for a lone job. The painting thus conveys the hopelessness felt by job seekers during the Depression, a sense accentuated by the rough texture of the painted surface.


On View, Gallery 263


Arts of the Americas


Joseph Friebert


Two Lines, One Job


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on Masonite


41 × 50.8 cm (16 1/8 × 20 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Bernard Friedman

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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